The Cloud Experience Everywhere
Gerry_Nolan

Building the IT operations experience of the future

HPE Operational Support Services already delivers innovative ways to increase IT Ops efficiency, improve performance, and free up your time so you can focus on creating business value. But what’s coming next will take it to the next level.

I’ve noticed that when I mention IT support services to some IT leaders, their eyes tend to glaze over – their perception is that support equates to a ‘break/fix’ discussion. But most execs appreciate that while resolving IT problems is still a crucial function, IT operations support has evolved tremendously in recent years and is an essential enabler of innovation for the business. Most would agree that IT operational services are an invaluable ally in supporting and managing their increasingly complex IT environments and keeping ahead in a tough competitive market.

I’d go farther than that, though. I’d claim that IT operational support services are now central to companies’ transformation efforts – for many reasons, but one in particular. IT leaders are increasingly aware that if their staff are fully utilized just keeping the operation running, they won’t have the time to drive the innovation that’s needed to keep the business competitive.

It’s hard to keep up with the ever-expanding array of technology choices – the move to cloud, edge, containers and so much more. As I wrote in an earlier blog, IT staff spend way too much time on the mundane IT tasks, dealing with issues and keeping the systems running. Combining a transformational role is a difficult balancing act, but critical for sustained success.

Now, IT operations have changed since I wrote those words, and in very drastic and unforeseen ways. The COVID-19 outbreak underlines the challenge, confronting IT with the need to adapt to a range of new and often unfamiliar circumstances and demanding an aggressive digital transformation. I predict that the digitally enabled organizations are the only ones that will survive, and this move will accelerate into the future. It’s the new IT Ops normal.

What’s now and what’s next

So what are IT leaders looking for now in the operational support experience? It all comes back to finding time and removing complexity. They want IT to just work –  with fast, frictionless access to the expertise they need, when they need it and in the modality they prefer. They’re aware of the tremendous advances that AI and ML have achieved in areas as diverse as improving help desk services and enabling predictive maintenance of factory machines, and they see no reason why the same approach shouldn’t deliver breakthrough gains in their IT environments.

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 HPE Operational Support Services can already meet those needs – right now, today. We can help you make the transition from trusted operator to trusted innovator.

But we are constantly looking to the future and seeking even better ways to serve our customers. What would a next-gen operational experience look like? In HPE’s vision, it would be:

Multi-dimensional. It would offer options and choices in how you interact with experts to get the information and help you need. Think about the great customer experiences that we all enjoy today, from vendors ranging from mobile phone providers to banks. IT ops services should be equally seamless and convenient, enabling you to get assistance on a 24x7 basis. It would offer different kinds of engagement options, including interactions with the right people when you need them, and self-service options leveraging centralized hubs that provide a wealth of insightful information, recommendations and predictive alerts.

Multi-vendor. An exceptional IT customer experience must include the ability to manage the collaboration across multiple vendors. It takes a lot of time to manage vendors at the best of times, and when issues occur finger-pointing and blame games are all too common, resulting in long resolution time and more business impact for you. Most environments are multi-vendor these days, so seamless collaboration is key in order to save time and money and keep your environment operating at optimal levels.

Multi-environment. IT complexity extends across hybrid environments, from the core data center to the edge to all forms of cloud – private, public, hybrid and distributed. IT operations capabilities should be the common theme underlying all of these. Great customer experiences must align with desired customer outcomes across all of these environments.

With these requirements in mind, HPE will soon be launching a new experience, including:

  • A new Digital Customer Engagement Platform. This will provide a personalized ecosystem that recognizes who you are, what products and services you own, and how those products and services interact. It will provide a personalized view that includes features such as dashboards showing your environment, ongoing alerts and predictions, and access points to experts and information. For example, it will alert you if capacity is running low or if it detects new ways to help optimize your costs. It will provide insights around updates to software and licenses, and alerts when key systems are reaching the end of their support life.
  • A world-class knowledge environment, including an extensive expert video library. It will provide search results that are relevant to your environment and interests, as well as peer collaboration through HPE expert moderated forums.
  • Self-solve resources, including Digital Case Management, which will help you track your service experience from gathering the right information to assigning the right expert, as well as parts ordering and scheduling of engineers.
  • Artificial intelligence with a virtual assistant and guided help to offer the right advice based on your specific environment and needs. Our AI engine is at the heart of our new capabilities because it’s constantly learning from your systems and those in similar environments globally. Like any AI system, the more systems that connect to it, the more knowledge it gains. The more questions people ask, the more accurate its answers become. 

AI at the core

HPE InfoSight is a cornerstone of the HPE-enabled IT operations experience of the future. It’s a very powerful AI/ML solution. By collecting more than 100 data points from our products every few seconds and processing all of that on the back-end, InfoSight can see trends in the installed base while also gathering knowledge from our product experts and data scientists. That enables us to better predict potential issues that could result in outages in your environment. We catch them before they happen and help you take the necessary mitigation steps.

For example, a virtual storage volume could be running out of capacity, which could lead to storage devices going offline, potentially bringing down the whole environment. We get ahead of that and fix it before it becomes a problem.

The pay-as-you-go advantage: Tap into HPE GreenLake, the cloud that comes to you

Customers care about outcomes; they don’t necessarily want to own infrastructure. Many would prefer to get billed each month for the on-premises IT they use. HPE GreenLake makes that cloud-like experience for on-prem possible. It’s a pay-per-use model that’s highly scalable, up or down, and it’s managed for you by HPE, making day-to-day IT operations invisible.

HPE GreenLake helps you minimize upfront spend and align capacity and costs with the revenue coming in. For example, a retail web site will typically see demand spikes during holiday periods. HPE GreenLake is an excellent way to smooth out the bumps because it provides the capacity you need integrated into your environment, but you only pay for what you use each month.

We would be happy to talk with you about our vision and plans for making the IT operations experience of the future a reality. Please drop a line in the comments box below, or reach out to your HPE rep or authorized partner.

Learn more about IT support services that remove complexity and help you respond rapidly to business demands.

Learn how HPE Pointnext Services accelerate your digital transformation: www.hpe.com/pointnext

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Gerry Nolan
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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About the Author

Gerry_Nolan

Gerry Nolan is the Worldwide Senior Director for the HPE Pointnext Operational Services Portfolio which generates approx $6B annually. In this role his goal is to enable a best in class customer support experience. His responsibilities include defining and executing the overall product management strategy, developing new service capabilities and enabling the end to end value chain from portfolio to delivery. This translates into optimal IT and business outcomes for HPE customers.